Guidelines for Inviting Scholars

The Exchange Visitor Program

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. Sponsors and exchange visitors are required to comply with the Exchange Visitor Program regulations. It is essential that they become familiar with these regulations.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa classification was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The purpose of the Act is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges.

Guidelines for Inviting Visiting International Scholars

Montclair State University welcomes international visiting scholars on a J-visa to our campus. Hosting international scholars is a major component of the Office of International Engagement’s activities, and crucial to the globalization of our campus. The Center provides all manners of support for visiting scholars, including the issuing of official invitations, preparation of visas, organizing lectures, cultural activities, forums and faculty interaction.  Visiting international scholars are a valuable resource in providing an international perspective for students, faculty members, and campus community. 

Common Categories of Visiting Scholars at Montclair State University

1. Professor: The professor category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at accredited post-secondary academic institutions, museums, libraries or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsoring organization.

2. Research Scholar: This category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. The research scholar or professor's appointment to a position shall be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent. Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant's program and do not delay the exchange program's completion date.

3. A Short-term Scholar must be a professor or research scholar or someone with similar education and or experience. Participants collaborate on special research projects, teach a semester at a college or university, or lecture, consult or observe in a variety of settings in education and research in the United States. The maximum duration of stay is six months. No program extension will be considered and no change of category will be considered.

4.  Distinguished Scholars: Every year, the IE provides funding to bring two semester-long scholars to teach at the University. These scholars can be recommended by faculty and colleges/schools. These scholars should teach two courses while here (the department in question would also pay them adjunct salaries for the courses) and engage in other activities organized by the host faculty/department and IE.  These scholars should be recommended to the Office of International Engagement at least 18 months in advance so that appropriate courses can be chosen for them by their host departments.

Eligibility: Visiting scholars with a Ph.D. or Ph.D. candidates with teaching or research appointments at a university are eligible to apply for residency at Montclair State.  Scholars without a PhD but who are otherwise appropriately qualified may apply for review.  Please visit this site for eligibility requirements and restrictions.

Preliminary Inquiries:  An international scholar or a Montclair State faculty member may initiate an application for a visiting scholar at Montclair State through the following steps: 

  1. If you are a scholar who would like to be a visitor at Montclair State, please submit a Visiting Scholar Request Form (older version) to the Chair of the department of your academic discipline. Include your CV and proposal.
  2. If you are a Montclair State faculty member who would like to invite a scholar to campus, please complete the Visiting Scholars Faculty Host Form (older version)
  3. The form must be supported with the following documents:
    • Scholar’s CV/Documentation evidencing academic accomplishment
    • Statement of purpose for the visit
    • If research is proposed, a research plan

Approving a Request:  Once the Department receives the scholar application and supporting documents, a formal review of the request will be conducted within the Academic Department.  The packet should be reviewed by the Dean of the appropriate school or college.  If the applicant is approved by the Dean, a host faculty member will be assigned to the visiting scholar.  The host will complete the Visiting Scholars Faculty Host Form (older version) with signature by the Dean.  This form, along with supporting documents should be sent to the Executive Director of the Office of International Engagement.


  1. Visiting Scholars Faculty Host Form (older version) (signed by Dean).
  2. Scholar Expectations and Responsibilities Form, signed by scholar, faculty host and Dean.
  3. Scholar’s CV and proposal.
  4. Proof of effective English language ability for research scholar category applicants

      To teach:

  • TOEFL 95iBT or 7.0 IELTS for professor category applicants

     To conduct research:

  • Skype interview with host faculty.  Please use and submit this Scholars English Proficiency Sheet.  Please use this English Proficiency Rubric.
  • Evidence of completion of ESL program or degree from English speaking university
  • Other, as meets the US Department of State’s requirements


Priority will be given to:

  • Fully funded scholars, especially Fulbright-funded scholars or scholars funded by the home country or institution (Fulbright scholars will have their visa applications executed and reviewed by the Fulbright Foundation).
  • Scholars who are at an institution that has an institutional or exchange agreement with Montclair State.
  • Scholars who either have a relationship with a Montclair State faculty member or who are renowned in the profession or known in the field.
  • Scholars with specialization and ability to generate co-authored papers with faculty.

Invitation Letter: An invitation letter will be issued by the Office of International Engagement and will contain; the name of the visiting scholar, purpose (teaching or research), the topic and the area of their research interest, host department and host faculty members names, dates of their stay, funding source for the visiting scholar and any fees that may be payable to or by Montclair State University.


Faculty Hosts need to submit a complete request packet, including signed Host Request Form, and proof of English proficiency by May 1st for the fall semester or October 1st for the spring semester.

Visa Documents:  Upon review of the application and supporting documents, the International Services (IS) office will issue the DS-2019 and mail it to the visiting scholar along with instructions for visa application and pre-orientation materials.

  1. Documentation evidencing employment at a college.
  2. Copy of passport page with photo and passport holder information.
  3. Documentation from home institution or home country evidencing financial support for the duration of the residency, approximately $1900 per month for the scholar and approximately $500 a month additionally for each dependent for 2016-2017.
  4. Official transcripts of degree, if the scholar will be teaching a course while on campus.

Insurance: Visiting scholars are required to purchase medical insurance for themselves and their dependents. Visiting scholars are strongly encouraged to purchase dental and vision insurance as these can be very costly without insurance and they will be personally liable for the costs.

Dependents: Visiting scholars may bring their dependents. The dependents would have to provide documentation to the IS&SS office and be covered by medical insurance.  Dependents who are minors should be accompanied by another adult.

Housing: There is very limited short-term housing available on campus at the Guest House. Visiting faculty may request a short-term stay for the scholar in the Guest House, but accommodation is subject to availability, and in no case will it extend beyond two weeks.  There is no campus housing for scholars who bring children. It is the visiting scholar's responsibility to find off campus accommodation with the assistance of the faculty host.  The Office of International Engagement cannot arrange housing for visiting scholars.

Meals: Visiting scholars can purchase on campus meal plan if they wish.

Expectations: The visiting scholar and host faculty will be expected to carry out responsibilities at Montclair State.

Faculty Host Expectations

The host faculty should be the liaison between the visiting scholar, IS&SS and campus community. As the primary contact, the host faculty will provide assistance during the residency of the visiting scholar and will be expected to:

  1. Arrange an office space and computer for the visiting scholar and orient the scholar to the campus including the Sprague library. 
  2. Arrange for a Net ID for the scholar: Instructions for Obtaining a MSU Net ID for a Visiting International Scholar.
  3. Introduce the visiting scholar to the department and students.  
  4. If possible, pick up and drop off the visiting scholar at the airport, show the scholar around town, and help the scholar settle-in by assisting with shopping.
  5. Work with the visiting scholar in finding off-campus housing with assistance from IS&SS.
  6. Notify the campus community and Office of International Engagement of the visiting scholar's expected arrival on campus.
  7. Submit a written report on the achievements of the visiting scholar to the Department Dean and the Office of International Engagement. The report should document the visiting scholar's classroom presentations, meetings with students and the general campus community, as well as any research efforts begun or concluded.

Visiting Scholar expectations

Visiting scholars should interact significantly with the campus community.  In addition to successfully completing the proposed research or teaching assignment, a visiting scholar will be expected to

  1. Deliver at least one public presentation at a departmental or college level
  2. Deliver one presentation arranged by the Office of International Engagement (in cooperation with the hosting department).
  3. Submit an exit survey
  4. Comply with all university regulations.
  5. Deliver presentations, meet with classes or student groups that share common characteristics or interests, participate as a guest speaker within the scholar's disciplines, or in courses related to language and culture. 
  6. Submit a report on achievements, presentations and research efforts to the faculty host.

SEVIS responsibilities: Visiting scholars are responsible for complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J-visa.

  1. Upon your arrival on campus, please visit the IS&SS office to receive the signature of the RO or ARO and orientation materials.
  2. Report your change of address to the IS office within 10 days.
  3. Depart the U.S. within the 30 days after the end of the program
  4. Apply for extension before the expiration of the program
  5. Maintain required health and accident insurance
  6. Keep your passport valid at all times
  7. Carry your original documents when traveling outside of New Jersey 

Please notify the IS office if you plan to:

  1. Depart unexpectedly from the U.S. 
  2. Apply for an extension
  3. Bring your dependents for a visit
  4. Lose any of your travel documents
  5. Travel to countries that may require a visa

For information on applying as a visiting scholar to Montclair State, please send an email to